When a person is arrested for the commitment of a crime, they attend a court hearing which determines the amount needed for bail to temporarily release them while waiting for a court date. Bail is the conditional release of a defendant with the promise to appear in court when required.
What is a bail bond agreement?
A bail bond agreement is a written agreement from the defendant that promises to pay the specified amount of money determined by the court should the defendant fail to appear in court at the appointed date and time. A bail bond is what allows for the defendant to be released from the custody of law enforcement.
A bail bond agreement can be made between the court and the defendant or the defendant’s family or friends. Bail amounts may vary depending on the type and severity of the crime that was committed. Often times, the amount of bail can be too high for them to post so they may need to reach out to a professional bail bond company.
In order to post bond, the defendant or the defendant’s family or friends must obtain what is called a bail ticket from the court clerk. When the bail ticket is obtained, it is sent to the police to notify them that bail has been met and the defendant is then released from the custody of the police.
What is a bail bond company/agent?
When a defendant agrees to use a professional bail bond company or bail bond agent, the company will become liable to the court for the full amount of bail if the defendant fails to appear at the time of the court date. A professional bail bond company will act as a surety, a third party who accepts accountability for the financial obligation or responsibility of the defendant, and will loan the defendant the amount given by the courts as bail. Generally, there will be a charge of 10% of the amount of the bail as a non-refundable fee.
Often bail bond agents will assess if a defendant is eligible for a loan by reviewing the defendants charge, personal circumstances and financial situation. A bail bond agent must consider the risks of posting bail for the defendant and will require guarantee or collateral of payment from the defendant or from the defendant’s family or friends. Examples of collateral of payment could be proof of your bank account balance, real estate such as a home or a piece of land, a vehicle and in some cases, valuable jewelry. When a bail bond company or bond agent agrees to lend a defendant the funds for their bail amount, they secure the release of the defendant from jail.
What happens after my court date?
When the defendant appears for the appointed court date and time, the bail bond agreement will end and the bail bond company will receive back the amount they paid for the defendant’s bail. If the defendant does not appear, a bench warrant for their arrest will be issued by the court and the amount of the bail bond will be surrendered to the court. If this occurs, the defendant or their family and friends will be at risk for losing the collateral that was used to secure the loan through the bail bond company. It is important for the defendant to attend all court dates to remove the risk of further penalty.
It should be known that Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Oregon have enacted laws making it illegal to post bail for profit, thereby outlawing the occupation of bail bond agent. If you are in Texas and need assistance, please call us at 936-539-4444 and can assist you!